We are witnessing the rise of the “Right Now” economy, a marketplace where spontaneity has replaced planning, ownership has given way to on-demand access and goods are produced or delivered just-in-time rather than stored in inventories. This development is disrupting traditional supply chains providing new growth opportunities for upstarts as well as established players. But it’s also reshaping customer expectations and creating challenges for firms as they try to craft winning digital customer experience in this shifting landscape.
Companies operating in the highly-competitive digital age can only win satisfied customers by offering consistent user and customer experiences. That puts pressure on brands to harmonize their customers’ online and offline experiences. As many of us know only too well, if your online and offline experiences aren’t in sync, you can expect to read all about it on social media – and that’s a not a scenario any brand wants to grapple with.
Increasingly, customers want – and expect -- personalized, real-time and effortless experiences. The Right Now Economy is challenging product and service providers to find and deliver that sweet spot across all of their channels and touchpoints.
The best and the brightest came together in Chicago recently to trade ideas on how to combine the latest trends in digital and customer experience to help brands differentiate and find new growth potential in the highly-disruptive Right Now Economy.
Digital Customer Experience success stories in New York and Helsinki
At the fourth annual Digital Customer Experience Strategies Summit in Chicago, IL, on last September, industry leaders like Ejieme Eromosele, The New York Times’ Managing Director of Customer Experience, pondered the implications for customer experience. Eromosele demonstrated how the landmark publication reimagined the digital experience and improved its subscribers’ customer experience by providing a single, unified space for managing their relationships with NYT. According to Eromosele, the result was average incremental revenue of USD 2.92 per customer. Perhaps harder to measure but no less valuable was an improved perception of NYT along the customer journey and a deeper emotional connection with the brand.
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism highlighted the case of Sanoma Media’s Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, which experimented with “diamond stories” as a new way to drive uptake of its premium content, resulting in new leads and helping the paper reach 200,000 digital subscribers. Qentinel has been working with Sanoma and Helsingin Sanomat to measure customer experience, and to react based on the metrics data.
The customer experience lessons learned from the media sector hold true for companies operating in other sectors as well. Although continents apart, both NYT and Helsingin Sanomat realized that their customers’ quality experience was influenced by the quality of content and the quality of the technical platform. Streamlining and optimizing these elements had a direct impact on the publications’ ability to maintain existing customers or subscribers and to attract new ones.
In the Right Now Economy, NYT, Helsingin Sanomat, and other brands will have to walk the tightrope dividing the data-gathering needed to personalize the customer experience and data harvesting techniques that customers might find intrusive. They will have to balance designing a rational service path with putting the user in the driver’s seat, between influencing user behavior and keeping the user in control. They will have to find the space where digital advertising does not violate the customer’s comfort zone. They will have to find that sweet spot that guarantees outstanding customer experience across all channels – digital and otherwise.
Pia Tapio who works as a Director in services at Qentinel Group is a business development professional with curious mind and passion for business and service design thinking and supporting companies to lead and develop customer experience systematically based on customer and business value.